Jin Jeong claims life-changing victory at Perth International

Jin Jeong is finally on the road to fulfilling expectations with a dramatic win at Lake Karrinyup.

Jin Jeong, Winner of the 2013 ISPS Handa Perth International. Photo : Smp Images/IMG Sports
Jin Jeong, Winner of the 2013 ISPS Handa Perth International. Photo : Smp Images/IMG Sports

Jin Jeong has won the 2013 ISPS HANDA Perth International at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club in Perth, Australia.

The 23-year-old Korean-born (but Melbourne-based) Jin Jeong beat England’s Ross Fisher in a playoff to secure his first professional victory.

Jeong was steady for most of the afternoon and his chip-in birdie on the 11th hole set up a 3-under par round 69, which was enough to match Ross Fisher’s clubhouse total of 10-under par.

“I was nervous, I was shaking but I controlled myself pretty well all day I thought. I don’t know what I’ve done to be honest,” said Jeong after the playoff.

“Playing with Ross Fisher in the playoff, it was unbelievable. He’s one of my heroes as well.”

It was a poor chip from Fisher on the first hole of sudden-death playoff that proved his undoing. Nestled tightly in the rough just behind the green, the club head got stuck behind the ball leaving Fisher with a tough 15 foot putt that ultimately slid by the hole.

Jeong’s par was enough to win the Perth International Trophy and the winner’s cheque.

“I was going to go back to Q‑School Second Stage the week after next but I guess I don’t have to anymore”, Jeong added.

Anyone that had ever seen Jeong play as a young amateur were certain he would be a successful professional golfer. Many went further to predict he would be a superstar in the game, but with such lofty expectations it has taken a while for Jeong to find success.

It’s not like Jeong didn’t have some good results, indeed he finished in a tie for 14th place as an amateur at the 2010 Open Championship – the only amateur to make the cut.

A few years ago, former caddie Trevor Flakemore suggested Jeong’s father was partly to blame for his lack of success. Just weeks before he was due to play the 2011 US Masters, Flakemore was sacked as caddie.

“I just think he’s got to get his dad away from him. The schedule his dad has set for him, there’s no time for himself. He’s not allowed to see his girlfriend because the female influence weakens him. He’s just a very sad boy at the moment,” said Flakemore.

This victory at Perth International has put Jeong now on the world stage. The victory gives him a two-year exemption on the European Tour and a place in the 2013 WGC HSBC Golf Champions and 2014 Volvo Golf Champions events.

We will be seeing a lot more of Jin Jeong in the next few years.

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